Spencer’s eyes took in the horror that surrounded him and his family. Before him, from the bed of a tall pickup truck, his father and Jewels fought off a horde of the walking dead that had to be nearly twenty strong. While behind him and his twelve-year-old sister came the undead birthday party of kids that must have been around Spencer’s age before the sickness and teeth claimed them.
“Help dad, get a car, and then rescue me,” Spencer yelled. Before his sister could protest, he was already racing toward the undead children and banging his broken axe handle against his empty pistol. This drew their attentions and they began to lumber toward him. “Hide behind a car, Emily. Let them chase me!”
And chase him they did, but Spencer didn’t stop there. He circled around to the backs of the zombies that assaulted his father and Jewels. “Hey you ball-biters! Easy pickings here. Just a little kid.”
“Spence, what are you doing?” his father yelled down at him while smashing a zombie in the face with the butt of his rifle. “Get your sister and get away from here!”
They must be out of bullets too, he thought before shouting, “No! Our car is in the middle of the complex. Get more ammo. Kill em, dad!”
He waited only long enough for a good half of the zombies fighting his dad to break away and start after him. Then he ran. He ran full out to the east and away from the apartment complex. Ahead of him loomed the Palo Verde wash. It wasn’t flowing—it rarely did that, but beyond the railing, a cement wall of thirty feet banked each side of the wash. For a nine-year-old, it was an insurmountable obstacle.
He was wondering whether he should take a left or right when he smashed head first into a zombie that stumbled out from behind a large car at the edge of the parking lot. Spencer hit the zombie hard enough that it took a step back with a loud moan, but Spencer was knocked backwards and fell on his ass. His empty pistol went flying and the splintered spike of wood clattered over the pavement near his right hand.
The zombie recovered faster than Spencer and lunched himself toward the youth. It fell to its knees groping for a hold. Spencer scrambled, shouting out as he kicked the thing in the face. This worked for a moment, but a bloody hand clamped down on his left ankle. Spencer fought and kicked, but the thing’s second hand latched onto him and drew his calf toward its dripping mouth.
Spencer’s hand landed on the broken axe handle and with a yell, he sat up and drove the splintered end forward. The Gods that protect children favored Spencer that day and the jagged tip of the handle pierced the zombies left eye. With another yell, Spencer pushed forward with all his strength. The zombie released a final groan, but fell forward its body going limp.
Spencer struggled to both push the dead man off his legs and pull the spike of wood free. He had done neither before a small hand grabbed a fistful of his hair from behind.
He rolled away leaving a good chuck of hair behind. The birthday undead were upon him, but he was just able to yank the broken axe handle free before they could grab him.
The one that led the pack had once been a boy his age, but now only had half a face. Spencer growled when he saw it still held a handful of his golden locks. “You want to crew on something? Try this spike!” Then he rammed the gory end through the undead child’s open mouth. It stumbled and choked for a moment, but when Spencer pulled the handle free, it fell to the ground where it remained unmoving.
“I guess you can call me, Spike, you a-holes, now catch me if you can,” he shouted over his shoulder as he took off running toward the edge of the wash.
To be continued next Saturday.